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Finding a Wheelchair Accessible Van for Sale

Finding a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle For Sale

Finding a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for sale can be daunting if you are unsure where to start looking or know what to ask. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as tricky as it seems. We’ve compiled some information and tips below that will help make the process much easier.

What is a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle?

They go by many names, wheelchair van, handicap van, mobility van, adaptive van, handicap SUV, etcetera. However, for general identification purposes, an accessible vehicle is specifically designed to safely accommodate one or more individuals in a wheelchair for transportation.

To achieve this, a manufacturer utilizes a traditional vehicle chassis and generally removes the flooring from just behind the firewall to the rear seat. Most of the time, a minivan or SUV chassis is used. These vehicle types provide the best conversion result and the largest interior space.

After removing the floor, the manufacturer will replace the removed section of the vehicle with a new engineered flooring system, 10 to 14-inches lower. The lower floor is necessary to adjust for a wheelchair user’s seated height. The lowering provides a more natural line of sight for the user.

In addition to lowering the floor height, another significant component is the integrated wheelchair ramp system. The ramp system is either manually or power-operated and deploys either in a fold-out or in-floor (underfloor) design. Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are available in either a rear or side-entry configuration. Specific needs dictate which configuration is ideal for a particular user.

How Much Does a Handicap Van Cost?

Handicap-accessible vehicles are available in many types and configurations. Plus, just like a traditional vehicle, they are available as both new and used. For general purposes, a new wheelchair van will cost between $52,000 to $82,000. That includes both the cost of the chassis and the conversion process. A used wheelchair van can cost $13,000 to $65,000 based on its year, condition, conversion type, and mileage. The factors that dictate price are numerous.

Where to Buy a Wheelchair Van or Handicap SUV?

Your best opportunity to find a new or used wheelchair-accessible van or SUV is your local mobility dealer. In your search, you will want to make sure that your local mobility dealer is a member of NMEDA (National Mobility Dealers Association). They are held to strict guidelines in selling and servicing mobility vehicles by being a member. Your local car dealer is not a member or a good source. If you are unaware of your local mobility dealer, you can visit NMEDA’s website to use their dealer locator.

Your local mobility dealer is also your best option for used wheelchair-accessible vehicles. A mobility dealer knows the differences in the types of conversions. They will be your best resource to which conversion type and configuration will work best for your needs, and which manufacturers have the most reliable products. They also know what to look for when reconditioning an accessible vehicle for sale. You will have the best chance of locating a more reliable, well-maintained wheelchair van or SUV from your local dealer. Plus, they will be here for you if you need repair or service. Check our current list of available new and used wheelchair-accessible vehicles for sale.

However, in addition to your local mobility dealer, you may find several other resources. Most of these can be found by searching for a wheelchair van for sale, handicap van for sale, handicap SUV for sale, etcetera in your web browser. Searching by those industry phrases will return a list of resources and vehicles for sale. Some may be for sale by the owner but beware of what you are buying and how it will work for your specific needs. We have often heard that customers who have purchased a vehicle from an individual have had significant issues or find the vehicle does not precisely address their needs.

Can I Finance a Wheelchair Van or Handicap SUV?

Yes, you can finance a wheelchair van or SUV. There are numerous options available if you know where to find them. Your local bank generally will have a hard time if they are not familiar with the vehicle type. However, most mobility dealers have financing available, most only one or two sources. At Superior Van & Mobility, we have six wheelchair van financing sources to provide our customers access to competitive rates.

Financing term options are generally available on wheelchair vans and handicap SUVs from 1 to 10-years. These longer terms allow buyers to spread the chassis cost and additional conversion cost across a more extended period. Rates are competitive to traditional lending sources.

Is There Help Available Paying for a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle?

If you need assistance in purchasing an accessible vehicle, contact one of our certified mobility consultants today or visit our links & resource page on our website. We have compiled a list of helpful links and resources, many of which provide grants and payment assistance for those unable to afford a handicap vehicle. You will find an extensive list of national and local organizations with programs available.

If you would like to receive a FREE consultation with one of our mobility consultants, please give us a call 1-877-545-1888, send us a chat below, or send us your question using the button above. 

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Industry’s First Toyota Sienna Hybrid

Meet the Industry’s First

Toyota Sienna Hybrid Wheelchair Accessible Van
Available in All-Wheel Drive!

2021 brought about a lot of change in the mobility industry. Not only was the iconic Dodge Grand Caravan retired, but we were introduced to two firsts in our industry. 

One, the all-new Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair-accessible van, was developed by BraunAbility, and VMI.

Second, VMI took it a step further and introduced the first-ever all-wheel-drive wheelchair van, an available option on the Toyota Sienna Hybrid.

These milestones are a significant addition to the mobility industry, especially for those environmentally conscious or those living in our northern states where an AWD drivetrain is most important.

In addition to being the first hybrid and AWD vehicle in the mobility industry, the Toyota Sienna hybrid has many other impressive improvements and firsts. Below are a few worth mentioning.

  • Up to 36 MPG on FWD models & up to 35 MPG on AWD models
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 – Includes many advanced safety features
  • Front & rear parking assist with automatic braking.
  • Road sign assist.
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
  • Dynamic radar cruise.
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist, and much more.
  • Available factory towing package
  • Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay & Android audio compatibility
  • Four-zone climate control
  • Seven USB ports
  • Driver Easy-Speak – Enhances communication with rear passengers
  • 1500-watt power outlet

As we move further into the near future and more manufacturers introduce hybrids and fully electric vehicles to their portfolios, we fully expect more industry firsts heading our way. This landmark introduction by Toyota is only the beginning!

What do you think will be next? A fully electric SUV? How about a plugin, a fully electric Chrysler Pacifica? We will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, what we’ve grown to know as the norm is no longer valid. Times are changing rapidly, and new products will continue to be developed as long as we have industry partners like BraunAbility and VMI.

Click here if you would like to learn more about the BraunAbility or VMI Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair van or check available vehicles currently for sale.

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Handicap Parking Violator Deterrent System, ParkSmart from VMI

Handicap Parking Violator Deterrent System, ParkSmart from VMI

VMI Parksmart logo

VMI Introduces ParkSmart™ Handicap Parking Alert System on New VMI Wheelchair Vans

A new product in town is designed to help drivers and passengers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles by eliminating blue-stripe parking violators in handicap parking spots. The product is called ParkSmart™, a new, patent-pending feature that will be found on EVERY new, VMI handicap, wheelchair-accessible vehicle beginning in 2021.

However, before I get into the nuts & bolts of the system and how it works, for all who may not know (The blue stripes next to a handicapped parking spot that is designed for parking a wheelchair van are there to alert other drivers NOT to park to close to their vehicle. The stripes are designed to mark off the appropriate distance from the handicap-accessible vehicle where the driver can deploy their wheelchair ramp to exit and enter their vehicle safely).

Image of handicap Parking spaces
Lady coming out of her wheelchair van in a parking lot with a silver car parked illegally in handicap spot blocking her access

Now that I’m done with that let’s understand how the system works. It’s pretty cool! First, the driver of the wheelchair-accessible vehicle parks his or her vehicle in the spot designated for handicap van parking. Next, upon exit of his/her vehicle, the user pushes a button on the dash to engage the new ParkSmart™ feature from VMI. (The system engages in a delay to allow the user to exit the vehicle). The wheelchair user then exits the vehicle and continues his/her business. The system is now engaged and active within 30 seconds. In all, the sensor works just like those on the rear bumper of a vehicle backup system, deploying a short-distance radar of sorts. Now, if a driver of another vehicle or a motorcycle user decides to park within the blue stripes or to close next to the VMI wheelchair-accessible vehicle, an audible alert will sound as the driver is getting out of their vehicle. The audible alert is then followed by a recorded message, further alerting the driver they have parked their vehicle illegally or too close to the wheelchair user’s vehicle, and it asks politely to move their vehicle. The message will repeat itself as needed to ensure the user hears the message if there is a delay in them exiting their vehicle.

Closeup image of the button inside a VMI wheelchair van that activates parksmart parking assist
ParkSmart™ Button

There you have it! The industry’s first passive parking alert system was designed to assist wheelchair users in stopping the ever-so-frustrating handicap parking violator. In my opinion, this is going to be a game-changer! I applaud Vantage Mobility for developing such a nice feature that can only help our users of wheelchair-accessible vehicles by eliminating one of the biggest headaches they encounter: handicap parking violators.


Watch a Demonstration Video of ParkSmart™ from VMI Here!

Shop our Current Inventory of New Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles Here!

Find a Superior Van & Mobility Location Near You!
Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

2021 Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Vans Available Only as Gas/Electric Hybrids Beginning 2021 Model Year

Are You Ready for the 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Wheelchair Accessible minivan?

Silver BraunAbility, Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair van in driveway with ramp out

Beginning with the 2021 model year, Toyota Sienna will no longer be available as a gas only minivan.

Toyota has officially announced the Toyota Sienna, one of the top-selling minivans in the U.S. and a popular chassis for wheelchair accessible van conversions, will only be available in a gas/electric hybrid model beginning with the 2021 model year. “This is an all-new vehicle from the ground up, including a new chassis platform as well as a new electrical platform,” said Monte Kaehr, Toyota Chief Engineer. “ The development of the fourth generation Sienna was a huge undertaking but we always worked towards one single mission—to make the best van yet.”

Aiming to redefine the segment, the fourth generation Toyota Sienna, in Toyota’s words, “reimagines the minivan to support a wider array of life stages and activities”.  With a standard hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter gasoline-powered four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors producing 243 horsepower, the new Sienna is available in four trim levels, and boasts an array of new tech and amenities in addition to an impressive estimated combined fuel economy of 33 mpg.

Initially, Toyota’s decision to go full hybrid cast the beloved vans future as a candidate for wheelchair accessibility in doubt, but since then BraunAbility and Vantage Mobility, two of the world’s largest producer of handicap accessible vehicles, announced their converted Siennas should be available June 2021.

While the new Sienna’s SUV-inspired look and multiple upgrades in comfort, safety, drivability, and entertainment are getting rave reviews, the price of the hybrid model is rumored to be several thousand dollars more than the current models, which has caused a rush on existing new 2020 Sienna stock and older pre-owned vehicles.

If you would like more information on the new 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid Wheelchair Van, click the button below!

Front center console area of a 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid BraunAbility Wheelchair Van
Interior of a 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair van from BraunAbility
2021 Toyota Sienna Infotainment center radio

To view Superior’s Toyota Sienna handicap van inventory, click below.

Dodge Discontinues Grand Caravan, the “Workhorse” of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Platforms

Dodge Discontinues Grand Caravan, and Introduces The Chrysler Voyager!

Image of a man with his wife and child outside their silver BraunAbility Dodge Grand Caravan wheelchair van at their farm

Swan Song of the Most Popular Wheelchair Van in the U.S.

1984, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Plymouth Voyager pioneered the minivan concept. U.S. sales of the Grand Caravan peaked at 300,000 in 1996 & 1997, then hovered around the 100,000 to 150,000 range. The Caravan lived through five design updates, the most current dating back to 2008. It remained virtually unchanged for its remaining 12 years.

As far as the mobility industry was concerned, the Dodge Caravan was the gift that gave many the blessing of affordability and mobility. It was the means that allowed customers with average incomes to afford their first wheelchair van. But what was going to happen now that the Caravan would be discontinued? The Chrysler Pacifica had already replaced the Town & Country, but the Pacifica’s MSRP was about $8,000 higher than the Caravan. $8,000 is a massive jump for many to afford!

CHRYSLER MAKES AN ANNOUNCEMENT

During the delayed termination of the Dodge Caravan, which Dodge continued to build longer than anticipated, Chrysler finally announced its replacement. Chrysler was going to build the Chrysler Voyager, a lower-cost version of the Chrysler Pacifica, to help fill the need of its large category of business being left aside. The first year of this replacement would be 2020. The year the Dodge Caravan would be discontinued. It was great news! However, this is where it gets interesting.

With the production of the Chrysler Voyager, the mobility industry could again provide customers with an affordable option once driven by the Dodge Caravan. While not exactly priced the same as the Caravan once was, the costs were closer than the Pacifica, and the vehicle was safer and much more technologically advanced.

Everything again seemed good in the industry, then Chrysler made another announcement. After the 2021 model year, they were going to discontinue the production of the Chrysler Voyager as a vehicle for sale to the general public. After the 2021 model year, Chrysler Voyagers would not be available for sale on a local car dealer’s lot. A huge blow and scare once again to the mobility industry, or was it?

After making the dramatic announcement, Chrysler quickly added that while it would end production of consumer sales, it would continue to build the Chrysler Voyager for its fleet customers. These customers are mainly rental companies, but BraunAbility and VMI are also considered fleet customers. This end of the Chrysler Voyager will not affect the mobility industry unless a manufacturer does not have fleet status. Then that manufacturer will no longer be building a new Chrysler Voyager wheelchair-accessible van after the 2021 model year.

Mobility dealers like Superior Van & Mobility, who are dealers for both BraunAbility and VMI, will continue to have the Chrysler Voyager wheelchair van for many years. And, to make things even better, the chassis price was reduced further for the 2022 Chrysler Voyager LX, making it less than a comparable Dodge Caravan SXT in 2020! It’s a huge win for the mobility industry and its customers. 

White Chrysler Voyager wheelchair van from BraunAbility

Shop for your next wheelchair-accessible vehicle today!

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Top 10 Considerations When Buying a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Top 10 Considerations When Buying a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

When it comes to purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle, many buyers are new to the process and can often feel overwhelmed. First thing you should know is that there isn’t any one-vehicle-fits-all solution; everyone’s needs are different. This is why when considering a wheelchair van or SUV, working with a certified mobility consultant at your local dealer is of utmost importance. Mobility consultants work with you one-on-one and perform a free, confidential evaluation, determining the fit and function of various vehicles until a best solution is obtained. In the end, you’ll leave knowing your best options, what fits and what doesn’t, and what to expect moving forward in regaining independence.

Beware Alternative Buying Options

As in any industry, there are organizations that will offer alternative routes to visiting your local dealer. However, you must be cautious, as most of these online retailers are only concerned with a sale. The idea of buying a vehicle, especially a wheelchair accessible one online, sight unseen generally doesn’t work out to be the best of ideas, and we caution you on making such a purchase. Sure, the slight cost savings might be tempting, but we’ve seen time and time over, these company’s delivering their customers a handicap vehicle that doesn’t fit, or address their needs, and leaves them in the end without proper service options and support.

The following list of considerations is designed to further assist you in your journey, and to help alleviate any concerns you may be having.

Top 10 Considerations

 1.    Know Your Options

When it comes to assistive technology for automobiles, there are now more options than ever! There are literally dozens of model variations and types of wheelchair accessible vehicles available, as well as lifts, and driving aids. Not everyone may need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, a lift might be a better fit. It’s best to know all your options going in and the alternative products available, it could save you a bunch.

2.    Tap The Dealer’s Expertise

Find a dealer with experience! By no means be afraid to ask questions. Mobility consultants are here for you with their expertise and assistive technology experience. They truly are your best resource for answers to all your questions and concerns, regardless how big or small.

3.    Choose an Accredited Dealer

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is a national organization dedicated to advocating for safe and reliable modifications in the accessible vehicle market. Dealers belonging to this organization are the top in their field, and are committed to the quality and safety of their products and services. Routine audits and program compliance is necessary to be part of this prestigious organization. Look for this logo when doing business.

When it comes to service and installation of mobility products, NMEDA offers an additional certification program called (QAP), or Quality Assurance Program. This is the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the adaptive mobility industry. Before getting your wheelchair accessible vehicle, lift, or driving aid serviced or installed, be sure you choose a dealer part of this program. By choosing an accredited QAP dealer, you are ensuring they have met the stringent qualities of the organization, and that they also provide the benefits associated: 24/7 emergency service, and service by trained technicians who have met only the highest of standards.

4.    Know the Value of Quality and Experience

Like most products, the mobility industry is also saturated with substandard, “customized” accessible vehicles. We urge you to be very careful when considering one of these vehicles. These vehicles are mostly found sold by companies who only sell their products online, without a nationwide supporting dealer network. These vehicles are often sold sight unseen, many times resulting in buyer’s remorse after the sale and lack of servicing options.

When considering a dealer for a purchase, it is key to find a dealer with a track record of performance. Is the dealership reputable? How satisfied are their customers? Do they have referrals and/or customer reviews available? Are there any unsatisfied complaints with the BBB, or states Attorney General? Bottom line, do your homework on both the dealer and the product you are considering to purchase.

5.    Get References

Don’t be afraid to ask your prospective dealer for any references from professional organizations, or customers who would be willing to talk about their purchase, buying experience, and whether they were satisfied with the service they’ve received both during and after the sale.

6.    Consider the Warranty

While not usually on top-of-your-mind until you need it, when making a purchase such as a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the warranty of the product you choose is important. Most reputable conversion companies offer warranties on their new conversion components that match the chassis warranty of the vehicle. Most often, this term is a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty. However, there are numerous alternatives to consider if you desire longer coverage. Be sure to ask a mobility consultant for more information.

7.    Get the Right Fit

We cannot stress the importance of this aspect when purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle. The size of the wheelchair user, the size of the wheelchair itself, and the size of the family/occupants must all be taken into account when selecting the right vehicle on top of many other factors. This is where it becomes extremely important that you are completely transparent about your disability, any limitations and needs, both immediate and future. Just like any disability, there are many variables that come into play which can affect decisions: age, level of dexterity, and countless others. Your answers to these questions will make it possible for a mobility consultant to recommend the correct type, size, and model of accessible vehicle needed to address your needs and desires.

8.    Decide Between a Rear-Entry, or a Side-Entry Conversion

There are two basic types of wheelchair accessible vehicles, side-entry and rear-entry. In a side-entry vehicle the ramp deploys from the side door, allowing the wheelchair user access to the center and front seating areas of the vehicle. This is by far the most popular type of conversion, and the only choice for a user if he/she is planning to drive. In a rear-entry vehicle, the ramp deploys from the rear hatch area, allowing the wheelchair user access to the rear and midsection of the vehicle, but not the front. Users in rear entry conversions are unable to ride in the front driver, or passenger seating area.

As with anything, there are always pros and cons of each option, so be sure to discuss these with your mobility consultant.

9.    Buying a Modified Vehicle vs. Having a Vehicle Modified

Purchasing a pre-modified vehicle from a dealer’s inventory certainly has its benefits. Namely, convenience and the ability to touch, feel and ride in the finished product. However, some users may already have an unconverted vehicle that they own, but now have a need for a conversion. With limitations on age, mileage and type, a user’s unconverted vehicle can usually be sent to the factory to be modified. To find out more about this option and the exact requirements, be sure to ask a mobility consultant.

10.    Take Your Time

Dealers are called “consultants” because that is exactly what they are; not salespeople, but consultants working with you to find the best solution for your immediate and future needs, and help you regain your independence.  Ultimately, decisions are up to you, but your mobility consultant will ensure you know all your options and recommend a vehicle that is a perfect fit. For this reason, mobility consultants don’t look for a, “quick sale”. The process will more likely lead to developing a long-lasting friendship because of the amount of information you will exchange, and the confidence you develop.

It is our goal at Superior Van and Mobility to address any questions, or apprehensions you may experience with the utmost compassion and understanding. Our mobility consultants strive to make your purchase as easy and comfortable as possible. If at any time you have questions, please feel free to reach out to any one of our locations and we’ll be happy to assist.

The Transition to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

The Transition to a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Silver wheelchair van with family inside

The transition into a handicap accessible minivan is one that may be a big change. For handicap individuals who have been getting by with a car or even without transportation- it isn’t always an easy choice to invest in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. While choosing to transition into a wheelchair accessible vehicle may not be an easy choice, it is one that is worth considering.

The comfort that a wheelchair accessible van provides is an investment in itself. While it may be possible to transfer from wheelchair to vehicle now, the convenience of owning a wheelchair accessible van is something that a passenger will thank himself or herself for later. With conversions that provide safety and make each vehicle easy to load, a wheelchair van will provide convenience for many years to come. Each van is truly an investment that will last a lifetime.

In some cases, the decision to switch to a handicap accessible vehicle is part of the lifelong process of adapting to a disability. However, with the addition of a wheelchair van, it is easier for passengers to focus on the things that matter the most to them, making transportation one less thing to worry about. The quality of life and peace of mind that a wheelchair accessible vehicle provides can enhance the safety, convenience and quality of life that every human deserves.

At Superior Van and Mobility, we understand the unique handicap challenges that our customers confront each day. With our full line of handicap accessible minivans, we believe that we have the vehicle to provide our customers with the comfort and mobility they deserve. We invite our customers to contact us anytime to discuss mobility options.

 

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

Handicap Van Options Make Transit Easy

4 images of Harmar & Bruno Power scooter and wheelchair lifts and carriers

What Can These Options Do For You?

New or used handicap vans are the main means of transportation for people with disabilities. They can compensate for most disabilities while providing comfort with the available options. Depending on your disability, you can choose which options would best fit your needs.

Here’s a list of customized options. These options will make commuting easier and more comfortable for you and your family.

The Options:

The main options for additional handicap van equipment include; Bruno Valet, portable ramps, hand controls, driving aids, lifts, jump seats, wheelchair tie-downs, transfer seats and platform carriers. Here’s a description of each:

Driving Aids: Driving aids include pedal extensions, wheelchair pulleys and sensors to help drivers maneuver safely.
BraunAbility Turny Evo: A Turny Evo seat allows someone with limited mobility to get in and out of their vehicle with very little effort and strain.
Lifts and Scooter Carriers: Lifts and mobility scooter carriers are probably one of the most useful options for a handicap vans and other accessible vehicles. Lifts and platform carriers for a van can be mounted internally or externally. They can lift a person in a wheelchair in and out of the car or store a mobility scooter during a commute.
Wheelchair Tie Downs: wheelchair tie-downs can be installed into the floor of a handicap van to secure wheelchairs during transit.
Hand Controls: In the instance of someone who has limited or no use of their legs, that person can have hand controls installed into their steering column so they can operate their vehicle.
Transfer Seats: A transfer seat works just like a lift and platform carrier. It can lift a wheelchair into a handicap van.

Understanding all of these options will make customizing your handicap van an easier process. Click here for additional buying tips.

How to Maintain Your Wheelchair Van’s Resale and Trade-In Value

How to Maintain Your Wheelchair Van’s Resale and Trade-In Value

Tips To Maintain Your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle’s Value

Chances are that you’ll probably want a new wheelchair van at some point. Wear and tear to your current vehicle, changing accessibility needs or preferences, grants or a higher budget, a search for better gas mileage, or any number of factors may leave you ready for a new accessible van. When the time comes, the resale or trade-in value of your old vehicle helps offset the cost of the new purchase.

Savvy owners protect their vehicle’s worth. They’re usually rewarded for their diligence at resale or trade-in time. Below are some tips for maintaining value over the long term.

Protect Your Wheelchair Van’s Appearance

How the interior and exterior of your wheelchair van look at resale or trade-in time matters. Guard against damage. Have your vehicle regularly washed and waxed to protect it against damage from the elements. Stay on top of interior cleanings, too. Have your van’s exterior and interior detailed periodically. Save receipts from these services. At resale or trade-in time, a clear record of diligent care adds value.

Don’t smoke in your van; the smell detracts from value, and you’re likely to burn holes somewhere eventually. Avoid eating and drinking inside to prevent spills and stains. At the very least, skip the fruit punch and stick to water. Investing in seat covers. Store your van in the garage if you have one, and park in the shade whenever possible. Over time, sun can fade finishes, crack vinyl dashboards and cause other damage. Drive carefully to reduce the risk of accidents.

Even with steady care, you may need services at resale or trade-in time. A thorough cleaning, inside and out, and a fresh coat of wax help make your van look its best. If the paint is faded, or if there are scratches, dings, chips or other damage, get your van professionally restored and newly painted.

Keep Your Handicap Van Working Well

Depending on your driving habits, having a Superior Service Conversion check-up every 3-6 months is critical to ensure your ramp, door and kneel systems work properly, especially during change of seasons and climates. If you drive everyday to work, to school, etc., every 3 months is recommended. If your van is primarily used for doctors visits and errands, every 6-12 months is sufficient. During a conversion check-up, all electrical connections are checked, as well as the operation of the ramp, door, and kneel systems. An added bonus is that we paint the ramp to freshen up its look as well! Be sure to check our latest newsletter for service coupons as well.

Treat your handicap van well while driving to protect operations and maintain resale and trade-in value. Avoid heavy stopping and starting and riding the brakes. Driving at high speeds takes a toll over time. Stick to paved, well-maintained roads whenever possible. Try not to add unnecessary mileage.

Get regular maintenance services, following the schedule in your owner’s manual. Tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations, fluids checks and other essential inspections and services keep your van performing at its best and help prevent serious damage (and more costly repairs). These services are one of the most important steps in maintaining value. As with cleanings, save receipts from every maintenance service. They provide evidence of care at resale or trade-in time.

If you would like to schedule routine maintenance, visit our service page for more details.

Cold Weather Advice For Wheelchair Vans

Cold Weather Tips For Wheelchair Vans

abdominal snowman crazy image

First, Don't Panic!!!

When inclement weather sets in, you have to pay special attention to certain parts of wheelchair vans. This is just as true in the winter as in the summer. Low temperatures, snow, wet or icy roads and other cold-weather concerns affect vehicle performance. They also make driving difficult and dangerous. Follow some basic cold weather care advice for your van to help prevent vehicle damage and accidents.

Tire Tips for Wheelchair Vans in Cold Weather

Properly inflated tires are essential to maintaining control of your vehicle. Check the tire pressure every week or two, or have someone do it for you if you can’t. Inspect tire tread, too. If you have normal tires, make sure the tread isn’t worn down to less than 2/32 of an inch; if you have snow tires, make sure it’s not worn down below 5/32 of an inch. If the tread on any tire is this worn down, it’s time for a replacement.

Cooling System Tips for Wheelchair Vans in Cold Weather

Replace antifreeze at least once every two years. Even if levels are still acceptable, the chemical balance of the antifreeze probably isn’t right anymore. If you don’t know when yours was last changed, have it done at the start of the winter. Also have your thermostat, water pumps, and radiator checked. Hoses and belts should be inspected for wear and cracks. Replace your radiator cap at the beginning of cold weather, too. Seek repairs at the first sign of problems with your heater or defrosters.

Other Cold Weather Tips for Wheelchair Vans

Have your oil changed when winter arrives. Use the lowest recommended oil grade. This is identified in your owner’s manual. Particularly cold weather diminishes a battery’s charge and ability to crank the vehicle’s engine. Get a battery test and have the battery fluids measured. If your battery is at least three or four years old, replace it.

When it’s really cold out, turn the electricity on in wheelchair vans first and wait 30 seconds before starting the engine. Also, keep your gas tank at least half full during the winter to prevent frozen gas lines. Don’t forget to keep some rock salt and an ice scraper in your van. Never use windshield wipers on frost or ice, as this easily damages them.

Visit our service page for more information or to schedule an appointment today!

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